Recovery period after laproscopy--how long until exercise
I found out today I have a 5cm cyst on my ovary and that the entire ovary will be removed laproscopically (it is benign-c125 was negative).
The surgery is in mid April on a Friday and my Dr. says I will be able to go back to work on the following Monday (I have a desk job). However, the surgery is scheduled during the middle of training for my first sprint triathlon in mid-May (1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run). I managed to arrange the surgery for the week after a marathon, but given the size of the cyst, he didn't want to wait until after the triathlon for the surgery.
How long should I expect the recovery period to be before I can resume my training? My Dr. just said it would take longer than usual to get back to that level of performance.
One thing I read said avoid "strenous exercise" for 2 weeks. No one seems to define that term. Since I run (very slowly) marathons, a 3 mile run is not at all strenuous for me.
I am 46 and at the correct weight for my height and correct BMI.
I saw your post on the OvCa board but will answer you here. I had a cyst, ovary and tube removed last year. The surgery went well, no complications. I'd say I had a quick recovery, even went to the book store the next day just to browse and get out of the house. But no way could I have gone back to work in just a couple of days. I had all the abdominal aches and pains, constipation and gas to work out and my belly was so bruised and tender, even wearing sweat pants was a pain. It took a couple weeks before most everything eased off. I was behaving fairly normally (not walking like a 100 year old lady) but my insides were still pulling and uncomfortable.
Do ask your doctor when it would be safe (not just comfortable for you) to start training again. Just because the outside looks healed doesn't mean all the insides are healed completely. Please take care.
I replied to your post on the ovca forum but not sure you saw it before moving over here ..so I'm moving it here... Irene and I are on the absolute same page !
Everyone is different, but going back to work the Monday after your surgery on Friday may be wishful thinking. I don't know as I'd count on that.. It's usually a good week before you feel like doing too much. They really like you to wait 2 weeks before driving, heavy lifting or housework like vacuuming, heavy yard work, etc. ... Regarding the training... hmmmm .. the problem is that even though you may feel fine and the little incisions look great, there is still healing going on internally .. May be just me, but that sure sounds like you may be pushing it just a little .You certainly don't want to strain anything internally.. That would be no fun and you'd really be laid up !
I felt just fine after a few days, and went to my first week checkup to get the stitches out with no problems. I would have driven myself had I been permitted.. Now, I'm older than you and I'm sure not in as good shape as you are, but I have to tell you... some women on this forum have been laid low for longer than I was.and they were a whole lot younger.. . so it's all very individual.
I just think the training may be pushing it.. but you might ask your Dr. what his opinion is.
Good luck and let us know,
Here are the post-op instructions on laparoscopy from my doctor's website. It seems to me that a Triathlon in mid-May is too soon:
For the Patient Who Has Had Laparoscopic Abdominal Surgery:
You have had abdominal surgery. The following information is intended to guide you in taking care of yourself when you get home. Included are instructions for your daily activities, what signs or symptoms you should watch for that could indicate a complication, as well as some general helpful hints.
First Week at Home
Your activity should be as tolerated, progressing toward your activity level before surgery. You may go outdoors on nice days as soon as you would like.
You may shower and wash you hair during the first week at home; thereafter, a tub bath or shower is fine.
So you don't get too tired, you should limit climbing a flight of stairs to two (2) times per day. Climbing stairs will not hurt you, but because you may feel weak, you could fall easily.
You should not have intercourse, ******, or use tampons until your doctor indicates that is okay, usually after your first check-up.
You have 3 or 4 small incisions on your lower abdomen. You should remove the dressings on the second day after surgery.
Constipation will occasionally be a minor problem, usually it can be corrected with the return to your diet and normal activity level. You can help prevent constipation by drinking several glasses of water daily and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. If necessary, a mild laxative such as milk of magnesia can be used.
You should avoid heavy lifting (more than five (5) pounds) for at least two (2) weeks. Do not lift children.
You may use Gas-X for gas pains as directed. This is available without a prescription.
Do not be alarmed if you have difficulty sleeping at night for the first few weeks after you return home. Remember you are not getting your usual amount of exercise during the day. It should become easier for you to sleep as your activity level returns to its normal level.
Hiccups are common after this type of surgery. Drinking water can help resolve them.
Second Week at Home
You should gradually increase your activities during your first two (2) weeks until you are almost at your usual level of activity.
You may drive short distances when you are no longer taking medication for pain. (Examples: attend church, go to the grocery store, take your children to school.)
Tiring easily is common after surgery; planned rest periods are beneficial.
Wear clothing that is comfortable to you, but try to avoid extremely tight clothing. You may wear a comfortable girdle.
Physical activity such as walking is good for you and will help you return to your usual level of activity. Avoid more vigorous activity such as aerobics, horseback riding, snow or water skiing, bicycle riding, and playing tennis. Your doctor will let you know at your follow-up visits when you can return to your full normal activity level.
You may use Tylenol or Motrin as directed for discomfort.
Call Your Doctor If:
You experience more redness, tenderness, or swelling of your incision than when you left the hospital. However, your incision will remain tender and sensitive for several weeks and this is not cause for concern.
You have drainage from your incision.
Your temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees.
You have problems with constipation not relieved by taking a mild laxative such as milk of magnesia.
You experience severe abdominal pain.
You have persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
You have any problems with urinating such as hesitancy, frequency, pass small amounts, or burning.
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